Hales on Alien Boy: ‘It’s a Stunning Film’

By Aaron Mesh, Willamette Week, Feb. 19, 2013

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales

Barely 48 hours before the first police-involved shooting of Mayor Charlie Hales‘ term—the killing of an emergency room patient allegedly waving a gun outside Portland Adventist Medical Center on Feb. 17—the mayor sat through a crash course on what not to do.

Hales attended the Feb. 15 premiere of Alien Boy, a blistering documentary on the 2006 death of James Chasse while in Portland police custody.

Hales’ offered a glowing review of the movie as he emerged from Cinema 21 on Friday night.

“It’s a stunning film,” he told WW as he left Cinema 21. “It’s a very clear-eyed look into a tragedy. We have to have a culture where officers use the minimum force that is required. This reinforces my interest in making that real. It’s a public service, and I hope more people see it.”

Other reactions were less measured. Patrons in the balcony called out “Murderer!” and “Sociopath!” at footage of Wheeler County Sheriff Christopher Humphreys, the then-Portland cop who tackled Chasse on a Pearl District sidewalk.

In the wake of Sunday’s hospital shooting, Hales has taken a cautious approach in how he responds. He hasn’t offered a public statement yet, and the mayor’s office cancelled a scheduled press conference on a city audit of road paving.

Alien Boy opens Sunday, Feb. 24, for a two-week engagement at Cinema 21.